Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Ancient temple revealed at Mexican pyramid after damage from 2017 natural disaster

Ancient temple revealed at Mexican pyramid after damage from 2017 natural disaster

"When we did the excavations [in the Temple of Tlaloc], we saw that the stones were loose, the core was not stable", archaeologist Barbara Konieczna from the centre of INAH-Morelos, said.

While carrying out post-quake restoration work on the main pyramid at the Teopanzolco archaeological site in Cuernavaca, archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) found the remains of a temple inside the structure.

An undiscovered temple at the base of an ancient pyramid has been excavated after natural disaster damage exposed the 900-year-old structure.Teopanzolco is an Aztec archaeological site in the southern Mexican state of Morelos.

The 1,000-year-old temple is thought to belong to the Tlahuica culture, Aztec people living in central Mexico, the BBC reported. The structure is believed to date back to around the year 1150.

Last September's second major quake caused widespread damage in central Mexico and claimed hundreds of lives but it also helped to reveal a tightly-held archaeological secret in the state of Morelos.

The magnitude 7.1 quake on September 19 caused parts of the pyramid to sink or lean.

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'This finding changes the chronology of Teopanzolco, since the basement was first discovered and then, in the image of that type of construction, the Templo Mayor was built in Tenochtitlan.

The temple, dedicated to the rain god Tlaloc, was unearthed by archaeologists using radar technology. However, since it appears that these two temples were built on top of at a later date, it suggests that this city was of significance long before this time period. While it was not unusual for the Tlahuica people, who built this complex, to construct new structures on top of others, the discovery was uncertainly not expected.

The archaeologists also recovered ceramic artifacts and a censer featuring Tlahuica motifs as well as a significant amount of charcoal that could have been left over from either rituals carried out at the temple or from a disaster.

The Teopanzolco pyramid platform is in the city of Cuernavaca, just south of Mexico City.

"There was no news, until now, of the existence of a substructure within the pyramidal structure", said INAH Director Isabel Campos Goenaga at a press conference.

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